Small business owners target of scammers - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Small business owners target of scammers

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TOLEDO, Ohio -

There's a warning for small businesses owners who might be losing hundreds of dollars to scammers.  It's happening through the mail.  And with all the bills coming through this holiday season it might be tough to spot. 

Business owners who've received it say it's looking and sounding like an official letter.  But reading the fine print and close examination will reveal it's a total scam.

"My first instinct was to pay for it then I remembered something I'd been told a while back so I looked into it further," said small business owner Suzanne Mullen. 

She got a letter in the mail asking for her a business license renewal fee.  Luckily she remembered hearing a warning about this. 

"There were a lot of scams regarding the renewals for the LLC's - to watch out for that - I wouldn't be getting anything in the mail," said Mullen.

Her gut was right, it was a scam that's billed more than ten million dollars from thousands of victims.

"These small business owners got a document in the mail that looked very much like a bill asking them to remit payment immediately for $175 and if they didn't pay there would be penalty," said US Postal Inspector Wynter Kugel.

Postal Inspectors received thousands of complaints and started tracking the cases.

"This mailing had no numbers, email addresses and no website there was no way to contact other than mailing your money to the post office," Kugel. 

Even though it looks official, the fine print really shows you don't need to do anything at all.

"On the form - there was tiny writing that said "This is Not a Bill". I think read the fine print and really go over it before you write a check," Mullen.

Postal Inspectors identified the scammer and has stopped some of the mailings, but you can be sure that person is not the only one trying this.

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